I wrote this post because I had all my Snap-On tools stolen in 2016 and it was heartbreaking. I had no renters insurance and no way to cover my losses for all my tools. With a simple metric socket set costing upwards of $150 new, I was looking at spending thousands to replace my tools if I wanted to buy Snap-On brand new again.
I will be honest with you, there is no way to buy Snap-On tools cheaply brand new. You can get a student discount if you are going to an automotive technician school– but, the prices will still break your back if you aren’t careful. I highly recommend avoiding any sites that are selling “new” “Snap-On” tools for super cheap. They are likely fake Snap-On tools, and you should be highly suspicious of any new tools sold for super budgeted prices.
This guide is written for people that want to know the best ways to find used Snap-On tools cheaply and locally. I cover how to figure out whether you are getting a good deal using eBay. We also cover how to set up notifications (alerts) on every major marketplace application and website so you can be alerted immediately when someone is retiring from being a mechanic and dumping all their Snap-On tools cheaply near you.
Places to Find Snap-On Tools For Cheap:
- Pawn Shops
- Flea Markets
- Facebook Marketplace
- Letgo App
- Craigslist– My personal favorite!
I will show you how to set up alerts (notifications) so you can be the first to find out when someone posts Snap On tools on any of these selling platforms.
The awesome deals will always sell fast.
You need to be using a system of alerts to snag great deals, or you will surely always miss out.
The absolute best way to get an awesome deal on tool truck tools is to buy an entire toolbox + set from a retiring mechanic. If you can’t wait for someone to retire, then try these tricks I have learned over the years.
Snap-On tools are overpriced and everyone knows it:
Try to stay off the tool truck as much as possible if you can’t afford it. It can be easy to fall into a payment plan to afford your Snap-On tools when really you could’ve started with more affordable tools and worked your way up to buying Snap-On tools. I highly recommend not buying a brand new Snap-On toolbox and new Snap-On tools if you’re starting out as a technician or mechanic.
There are many brands out there which make comparable quality tools at a fraction of the price. I even prefer the rebranded Snap-On offshoots sometimes. It is not fair to say Snap On makes the best tools, period.
It is also important to note that not all Snap-On tools is made in the USA anymore.
A lot of their tools are now made overseas including China.
To read more about what tools are made in China and which ones are made in the USA click here.
Guide to buying USnap-On On Tools for Cheap on Craigslist:
Craigslist has this awesome feature now where you can have it send you a notification whenever someone posts something with certain keywords you want. If you want to be notified immediately of someone posting anything that has the word “Snap-On” in it, you can.
It is pretty easy to set up, all you need is an email, craigslist account, and to follow this guide here. It is also free on Craigslist to do this, and a little-known secret.
Here is my quick guide to setting up notifications or “saving searches” as Craigslist calls it.
- Find your cities Craigslist and search for “Snap On” or whatever you want
- After searching you will see a “save search” link appear to the right of the magnifying glass by the search bar. Click it.
- You will need to login to your Craigslist account to go further. Or create an account following the links and come back after setting that up.
- Now, you will be taken to a page with all of your saved searches.
- Make sure to click on the box next to “off” to turn notifications “on” for the saved search you want.
- Now, you can create as many saved searches as craigslist as you want / for anything you like. You will be sent an email immediately upon any listing matching your search.
- Pro tip: refine your “saved searches” to only notify you if the price meets your criteria, only by the owner (exclude dealerships/pawn shops), and by location.
- Make sure to do different spellings of Snap-On, Snap On, Snapon. Cast a wide net, catch them all.
Pro Tip: How do you know if it is a good deal or not?
I have had great success being one of the first people to contact a seller with an amazing deal because of notifications. You need to be one of the first people to respond to the add to have a shot. Notifications allow you to be the first on a great deal.
Make sure your email, phone call, or text is catered to the add. Make it easy for them to respond to and like you.
Also if someone has had a post up for a couple of weeks. You can pretty much assume the prices really aren’t that great, or the seller sucks at responding.
The great deals, at least where I am, will be sold in under a day or less after posting.
For example, this post has been posted for more than 30 days.
You can bet this guy is wanting close to full retail for his tools. I recommend skipping it. If you’re trying to sell tools and they have been posted for a long time, I recommend deleting the add. Repost it / take new photos, and maybe you will get some new bites.
Guide to getting great deals on Snap-On tools at pawn shops:
I personally don’t like pawn shops much in California at least. They tend to have prices that are barely less than retail, and the store owners are sketchy, to say the least.
I also have a bad feeling about buying tools that might be stolen, as I had all my Snap-On sockets stolen a couple of years ago.
That being said other people on forums from around the country have had awesome luck buying Snap On tools from pawn shops.
Be sure to try to negotiate with them, and show them the cash. They want to make a deal. More than they want to see you walk out that door empty-handed.
Please test the products in the store before buying. If they refuse, walk.
Guide to Buying Snap-On Tools Cheaply on Facebook Marketplace:
- Log in to Facebook on your computer
- On the left-hand side under “News Feed” find the Marketplace button.
- Click on “Marketplace” and browse around / get a feel for what it is like.
- Just like Craigslist you can adjust your location, and set notifications.
- Once inside Marketplace search for whatever you want (For this example “Snap-On”)
- On the right hand side of the search bar click “follow”
- Set your notifications settings, and start following loads of keywords like “Snap-on, tools, Snap On, Snapon).
Marketplace VS. Craigslist VS. Letgo for Snap On Tools:
The Facebook marketplace is a source of awesome deals that not many people know about and use effectively. That means great deals for those that understand it, and know how to use it.
You can set notifications so that marketplace will alert you the second someone posts a “Snap On 3/8″ Impact Gun.” Set lots of them for whatever you’re looking for.
I have found the people using Facebook marketplace are older sellers. They generally don’t trust Craigslist, and feel Facebook is safer since they can look at the potential buyer’s profile.
Pro tip: Do not have any sort of sketchy profile picture. People won’t want to sell to you if you’re posing with a gun in front of a mirror.
A lot of sellers on the Facebook marketplace are willing to sell their stuff at a lower price than sellers on Craigslist. This is just based on my own personal experience.
I find people to way more accepting of negotiating on Facebook marketplace as well. The same is true for the mobile phone app Letgo, which works much easily than Craigslist and also has a good amount of great deals on it. Be sure to negotiate everything, and the app allows you to handle chats through the app. Meaning no clumsy emails or phone texts with people you don’t trust yet.
Remember you should be combing all of these applications all the time with notifications set. That way you have immediately notified the second someone posts an awesome Snap On toolbox for a great price.
Trust me, you might not be the only one doing this in your area so work quickly! Especially on Craigslist, there are people who have made their entire career from notifications on Craigslist and swooping deals quickly.
How to get Used Snap On tools cheap on eBay:
- Create an Ebay account or log in.
- Search for whatever you want i.e., “Snap On 3/8″ ratchet”
- Click on “Following This Search”
- Click on the box that comes up that says “Email me new items that match this interest”
Ebay is a great way to get a ballpark price on what used Snap On tools are worth. If you’re planning on reselling them, check Ebay first to see what they sell for. You can do this by clicking on completed auctions, and seeing for what items are selling for and at what price.
If you want to buy and resell tools, you can use Ebay to find out what they sell for normally. Then you can see if you have enough room for profit.
For buying used tools directly from eBay it can be pretty competitive. Especially when it comes to buying Snap-On tools.
There are a lot of people bidding on items. For example, here is an auction I just pulled up for a Snap-On item ending right now. It already has 26 bids, and has 34 minutes left in auction. You can assume it will get another 30+ bids before selling.
Pro Tip: To price used tools look at Ebay completed listings:
- For this example, search Ebay again for that exact ratchet “FCF72”
- On the left-hand side scroll down until you see “sold listings”
- Click the box to only see “Sold Listings”
- Now scroll through the listings
- Take an average of the sold listings
- Read the postings to see if really cheap ones were actually damaged etc.
- People get good deals from auctions as well as buy it now listings that people put up for way less than market value
- Here are some examples of “sold listings” I found for the FCF72 ratchet:
As you can see on eBay it is important to be notified immediately when someone posts something you want. That way you can be the first to jump on the “Buy it now” listing before others. As far as we can tell that $45.00 FCF72 ratchet was a great deal.
Great deals on new Snap On tools just isn’t a thing.
My main advice is to avoid buying Snap On tools brand new as much as possible.
You can still use the lifetime warranty regardless of whether you bought the tool used or not.
Be sure to check first if that is true on cordless/electrical items. I think they do not warranty scan tools and other electronic equipment as readily as their hand tools.
Do you need Snap On tools or do other tool brands work as well?
Do not let anyone trick you into believing you have to use Snap On tools in order to be a good technician/mechanic.
Read this article I wrote if you are on the fence about whether to spend a huge hunk of money on Snap On tools. I spent a couple hours figuring out how you can tell if a tool branded as Snap On is still made in the USA or not. Surprise! Not many still are.
In 2018 it is more important than ever, do your research first before buying!
There are a ton of very high-quality brands that also make amazing tools at a fraction of the cost.
A lot of these tools are direct copies of Snap-On tools.
Or they are so similar you would never know the difference.
I will be compiling a list of these copies / Snap On quality equivalent tools very soon.
It is not the brand of the tool that makes the mechanic. It is you behind the tool that makes the awesome mechanic.
I spent a couple of hours researching 10 Mechanic Life Hacks that actually work read them here.